Chile + Brazil 2015

The 2015 Fellows looked at the challenges and responses to housing, open space, and livability in three cities in South America: Santiago, Chile; Rio de Janiero and Curitiba, both in Brazil. These three cities are either in the midst of dramatic shifts or have been forced to respond to major changes in the recent past, thus providing excellent cities and spaces of study.

For cities such as Santiago, the threat of natural disasters in the context of transition to a new democratic political structure has been the focus of recent city planning efforts. Curitiba was once the city with highest rate of poverty, until the 1970s when Mayor Jamie Lerner undertook a major re-visioning of urban planning and design to meet the needs of a diverse population. His vision focused on public space and amenities for the under privileged communities through ‘Urban Acupuncture’. Rio de Janeiro is currently undergoing significant growth due to a rollercoaster economy as well as being host to both the soccer World Cup in 2014 the Summer Olympics in 2016. The three cities are in three different phases of change, responding to distinct challenges and opportunities. The intention was to learn and share approaches to rapid change, specifically as it relates to issues of livability in the housing and public space.